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5 facts about Paul Păun

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By Gwylym Owen

Paul Păun (September 5, 1915 – April 9, 1994), born Zaharia Herșcovici and who far ahead in life untouched his legitimate name to Zaharia Zaharia, also signed his work Paul Paon and Paul Paon Zaharia. He was a Romanian and Israeli avant-garde poet and visual artist, who wrote in Romanian and French and produced surrealist and abstract drawings. He was then a medical doctor and surgeon. His bill is registered taking into account the ADAGP (Société des Auteurs dans les Arts Graphiques et Plastiques) and the SGDL (Société des Gens de Lettres).

Inspired in his teens by the poetry of Vladimir Mayakovsky and Sergei Yesenin and by the Romanian advocate magazine unu, he was a co-founder in the ahead of time 1930sof the magazines Alge and Viața Imediată. Păun set himself the aspire of making poetry a breathing experience. He experimented briefly taking into consideration licentious, ludic themes (and was appropriately prosecuted for pornography) before turning to Marxism and proletkult aesthetics. Like other modern writers, including his friends Gherasim Luca and Dolfi Trost, he adhered to the then-illegal Romanian Communist Party.

Păun soon developed an interest in surrealism, and became a member of the surrealist bureau formed at the very start of World War II (alongside Gherasim Luca, Gellu Naum, Trost, and Virgil Teodorescu). This small community survived clandestinely during the exploit years, when Păun himself was marginalized due to his Jewish ethnicity. It reemerged as a short-lived but unconditionally active outfit after the war, with many of their collective works written in French. Păun with had at the mature a noted debut as a surrealist painter and illustrator.

Like supplementary artists and intellectuals in Romania and elsewhere, he found himself disenchanted in imitation of Stalinism already in the late 1930s, and subsequently considering the post-war Romanian communist regime. Exposed to communist censorship, he stopped publishing or exhibiting his work. He emigrated to Israel with he was already in his late forties, and focused upon his medical career, with occasional public contributions to art and literature.

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